Honeycomb on a Hangover
Enjoyed last night’s episode of Chefs Run Wild? Here’s Chad with an extra behind-the-scene scoop about Laos, honeycombs and hangovers – and the thrill of the wildly unexpected.
If you can manage to get yourself out of bed before noon when you are in Vang Vieng, Laos, you are doing well. They used to call Vang Vieng a “sleepy town”, but nowadays I think it is more because everyone is just sleeping off the copious amounts of booze, opium and magic mushrooms that they intoxicated their bodies with the night before.
We on the other hand, just woke up with a regular hangover and had to get some food in to our systems to get us on our feet again.
We stumbled across a small food stall just outside the town centre. The woman had a small coal fired BBQ and was grilling some sort of snack wrapped in banana leaf. Curious as to what it was we tried our best to ask her. The only thing she could say in English was “honey” as she pointed at a jar of honey at the stall next to her. She allowed us peek inside the banana leaf and saw that it was honeycomb! What a great idea we thought. Sweet sweet honeycomb wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled over an open fire, Mmmmmm… We bought two of her tasty treats and were excited to start our day with a local sweet tasty snack to settle our tummies from the night before.
I quickly unwrapped my honeycomb like a kid with a candy bar. Clayton was the first to sink his teeth in while I stopped to study its contents. I ignored Clayton’s comments on the dish – I was too excited to try it for myself!
Have you ever had a dish that you were expecting to be sweet, but it was quite the opposite?
This was the case here and when you are caught off guard like that, no matter how good it tastes you are so put off by it for the fact that you were expecting something completely different. Nothing could have prepared me for the flavour, or more so, the texture. It was not sweet in the slightest. It was somewhat savoury with a smoky flavour from the grill. But the texture…. it was the texture that was the most disgusting. It was like biting into a cream-filled doughnut only to find that it’s not sweetened cream, but savoury bee’s larvae!
It took us a minute to figure out exactly what it was as the woman kept stating: “Honey, yes, honey!” Honey it was definitely not. Maybe at some point it was filled with honey, but not this one. And let me tell you, grilled bee’s larvae and hangovers do not go well together.
On the bright side of things, there is one lesson we learned here. It is good to be adventurous when you are traveling, but there are some instances when you are better off sticking to what you know and settling for a hotdog and a Pepsi.
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